Here are examples of what I mean:
The annual Tots 2 Teens consignment sale at Trinity Christian Academy took place. For a few hours during the sale, I shopped one afternoon after I had taught school.
My daughter called the week before and said her children needed a few clothes for the winter. Her comment gave me the chance to remember how much I enjoyed buying clothes for my children, oh, so many years ago.
I armed myself with a list of the children’s sizes, a checkbook, and some free chocolate candy I found near the cash registers (for energy to shop, of course). Then, I began matching size three and size 10 pants with coordinating shorts, sweaters, and jackets. I picked out several sets of pajamas, some toys, and two pairs of like-new shoes. Afterward, I felt exhilarated.
Later in the week, I had to return to my car during the first few minutes of the school day. As I walked past the front of the school, two second-graders were preparing to raise the American flag. I thought back to several decades ago, remembering how much I had enjoyed the same job at Norwood Elementary School in North Anniston when I was a student there. At Trinity that morning, the dew covered the grass, traffic noises wafted onto the school grounds, and the chain of the flagpole clanked against the metal pole as the students hoisted the flag – all sounds that were identical to the ones I remembered.
On Wednesday afternoon, I decided to create a new bulletin board. I took some large purple background paper and asked several of the students to help me create a silhouette of the main character, Scout, from the book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” One of the students designed a moon in the center of the paper and began painting. I found myself sitting in the middle of the floor helping him and other students finish the moon, design a tree, and draw Scout. As I worked, I remembered my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Tate. She was an elderly teacher who told us students that she grew up without paints in the classroom. She showed us how to paint a snowy scene using buttermilk. Then, we used colored chalk to draw children skating on an icy lake. The smile I wore when my students finished their artwork was probably the same one I had when I admired the bulletin board on Mrs. Tate’s schoolroom wall.
Then, on Saturday, I cook a big pot of chili in honor of the cooler weather. As I worked, I remembered when my mother used to buy the blocks of frozen chili. We daughters would place one in a pan on the stove and watch it melt into a tasty supper. Mother gave us soda crackers to crush and spread on our bowls of chili. Now, that is a good memory – comfort food on a cold day.
Rediscovering a past pleasure or two is a good way to ease from fall into winter, and it helps us remember that the younger person inside of us is still alive through cherished memories.
Email Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.